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November 16, 2013
Orange look to continue domination
As if Colgate didn't have enough on its hands trying to prepare for Syracuse, it also has history to deal with.
The ninth-ranked Orange look to beat the Raiders for a 48th consecutive time when they meet Saturday.
The Carrier Dome has been an unwelcoming place for most teams, especially those that are unranked and outside of Syracuse's conference. The Orange have won 43 consecutive non-league games against teams outside the Top 25 in their building dating to Dec. 15, 2008. Four of those victories have come against the Raiders, and overall, the Orange have won 47 straight against their in-state foes - the second-longest win streak over an opponent in NCAA history.
Syracuse beat Colgate 87-51 last season, and has won by 27 or more points in each of the last seven meetings.
Add in the challenge of dealing with preseason ACC Player of the Year C.J. Fair and the rest of the Syracuse lineup, and things don't look promising for the road team.
Fair had 26 points and six rebounds in Tuesday's 89-74 victory over Fordham. Syracuse (2-0) attacked the basket and was rewarded with 42 trips to the free throw line, helping them build a 25-point first-half lead.
"Getting to the basket, the way they're calling the game, if you get to the basket with the ball there is a 90 percent chance there is going to be a foul called," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "So that is what (Fair) does. The new rules really help him and the fact that he is going to go to the basket with the ball."
Fair averaged 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds for a Syracuse team that reached the Final Four last year, and returned for his senior season knowing he'd have more responsibility in running the team's offense. Though it has been just two games, Fair has already become more of ball-handler in the Orange attack. The team also relies on freshman point guard Tyler Ennis to run the show.
"Coming into this year I knew I had to handle the ball a little more and create more offense for myself and for my teammate," said Fair, who is averaging 22.5 points. "In the offseason I did spend a lot of time on it."
The Orange shot 53.3 percent from the field in the first half versus Fordham, but that dipped to 37.1 percent in the final 20 minutes. Syracuse's famous 2-3 zone defense was also lethargic after the break, allowing 53 second-half points after being up 46-21 at halftime.
"First half, we were pretty good and we did a pretty good job defensively," Boeheim said. "The second half I think we felt we had control of the game. We lost our defensive edge, and they took advantage of that and that's something that we obviously have to work on. Our guards are inexperienced in terms of playing out there and knowing how to play the front of the zone and keeping guys in front of it."
Colgate (0-1) has already played an ACC opponent this year, losing its season-opener 89-78 at Wake Forest on Nov. 8. Pat Moore, the Raiders second-leading scorer last season with an average of 9.8 points per game, led the team with 17 points.
This will be the 166th meeting between Syracuse and Colgate, making it the longest-running basketball series for both schools. They've met each of the last 21 seasons with Colgate's last win coming in 1962.